Traveling Alone as a Woman: Evening Arrangements for One
Before your first big solo trip, you asked yourself one question above all others: Even if you can fill your days with sightseeing, what do you do alone in the evenings?
Can you go out by yourself? Are you safe on the streets by yourself? What alternatives do you have if it’s not safe?
Here’s an article about how to organize your evenings while traveling safely.
Traveling alone as a woman: If you don’t feel safe enough to go out alone
- Invest in a good book! Even though books are often expensive in Western countries, almost every hostel has a bookshelf where you can borrow a book or even take it with you. Alternatively, purchase an eReader ahead of time. Choose something other than a tearjerker or a thriller… Either one by itself can cause more harm than good.
- Create your entertainment program: If you have a laptop or a tablet, load both with your favorite series and films ahead of time, get some popcorn from the supermarket and make yourself at home comfortable on a couch or in bed.
- Cook yourself a dinner for one. Sometimes you should treat yourself, try something new, or simply eat healthier. So stock up at the supermarket and cook a lot. You have no idea what to do or how to do it. Make it a new hobby by learning to cook. Recipes can be found all over the internet. And who knows, maybe you’ll make some new friends in the hostel kitchen.
- Be bold. Brave. Open. Inquire with the other people in your room about their plans for the evening and whether you can join them. There’s a good chance that someone else is going through something similar to you, or that you’ll be accepted into a new group. Overcome shyness in a minute and potentially save a whole night.
Traveling alone as a woman: Evening filler for the first-time solo traveller
- Take a night tour! Many cities have underground or night tours available. You’ll get to know the city from a new perspective and, if you’re lucky, meet other travelers. As I previously stated, we are everywhere!
- The restaurant is the next step. Restaurants will become your closest companions. You don’t have to cook, you don’t have to shop, and you’re surrounded by people. The cliche that you can be lonelier in a crowd than alone in a room is only partially true. When you stop worrying about what other people think of you, you’ll discover that using the buzz around you to alleviate your loneliness can be quite relaxing.
Traveling alone as a woman: Advanced travel ideas
- Visit a Night Market – In many large cities, this is a must-see event! There you will find the best food, the most amusing stands, and something very special at night in Chinatown. So consult your travel guide, reception, or Google. A definite highlight.
- Go to a meet-up – Whether through Couchsurfing, Facebook groups, or Meetup.com, there are regular meetups in big cities and often in quieter areas as well. Look for meetings that are conversational as well. You can also improve your language skills at the same time.
- Go to a bar – even if you’re alone! Here’s what you should think about. Then simply go sit at the bar with the bartender and let him make you a fancy drink. If you are alone, preferably non-alcoholic.
Traveling alone as a woman: Getting through the night safely – solo
Finally, a few rules and tips to keep in mind if you are out and about alone at night, either voluntarily or by force.
- Ask someone if the location you want to visit is safe. Your first point of contact is always the reception desk at my lodging. They know their way around the city and know which corners you should avoid.
- Plan ahead of time how you will return. If you have a map app, look around to see where the major roads are and how you can best use them. If you want to take a taxi back, save the number on your phone or write it down ahead of time so that someone can call it for you. In advance, inquire about safe and dependable taxi services! Rip-offs abound, particularly in Southeast Asia. If you want to return by bus or train, find out how long the respective line runs at night ahead of time. There are still rides available late at night, not everywhere, and not every day.
- Leave a brief message in your room indicating where you are and when you expect to return. Of course, you are not required to do so, but it does add a sense of security if, in the worst-case scenario, someone comes looking for you. Also, bring a map of your lodging with you. You just never know!
- Take as little as possible with you. There will be no backpack and, if possible, no handbag. That way, you don’t make yourself more appealing to thieves.